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Things to look for in a bad school

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  • Rogue
    replied
    From my experience warning signs of a potentially bad school...
    1. Bruce Lee quotes.
    2. Nonsensical absolutes such as an unarmed man can never beat a knife, all fights go to the ground, most fights never go to the ground, etc.
    3. Underestimates sport or traditional fighters.
    4. Anything with the name Paul Mitchell on it in the dojo.
    5. Musical kata.
    6. Instructor holds high rank in 6 styles and is only 30 years old.
    7. Sloppy kata.
    8. Kata without intent.
    9. Sensei is clueless to any kihon or bunkai of his kata.
    10. Too many women in the class.
    11. No blood stains on any of their gi. ;)
    12. "Trainer" of any of these: SEALS, DEA, FBI, HRT, SF.
    13. Anti-grappling techniques.

    Leave a comment:


  • PeedeeShaolin
    replied
    Another thing.

    I've taught ALOT of people man. You DON'T want to bag on all of a beginners mistakes. Thats not correcting him, thats criticizing him. He's not going to want to hear EVERYTHING he's doing wrong. If I did a private kickboxing class(muay thai) with anyone here I could point out a whole shiitload of mistakes. Your NOT going to correct them all that day.

    You can remind a beginner a MILLION TIMES not to drop his hands, he's going to do it anyway. The only thing thats going to help him there is TIME and REPETITION.

    You can fix small mistakes, like not pivoting your hips on a cross or kicking with the wrong part of your foot. But to develop the strikes he's going to need to use that kick or punch ALOT on focus mitts/kickpads, heavybags etc. Those things will develop distance, accuracy, power, speed and can be used to help out with proper footwork.

    Repetition is the mother of skill.

    Leave a comment:


  • PeedeeShaolin
    replied
    Someone can start sparring within 3 to 6 months with a proper instructor. I've trained people for full contact fights with not much more training than that.

    Fighting and sparring really isn't rocket science.

    Like Bruce Lee once said:

    "Before I studied martial arts, a punch was just a punch, and a kick was just a kick. When I studied the arts suddenly a punch was no longer just a punch and a kick no longer just a kick. Now that I understand the arts, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick."

    Theres nothing mystical or overly complex about ANY of this stuff.

    Anyone who tries to sell you on the "pinpoint accuracy" and "devestating power" gained after years of study is blowing hot air out of his ass.

    I've seen people with just above average athleticism develop amazing skills in months. They have more power and accuracy than people who have been training for 5 times as long as them.

    Its all in the way you train.

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  • The Wastrel
    replied
    But Osiris, beginners can't usually tell if someone's technique is shitty.

    **The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wastrel
    replied
    "What happens following that does not resemble boxing, usually it looks more like groveling for mercy or cowering."

    LOL....So I take it you've seen me fight...

    **The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

    Leave a comment:


  • 8t88
    replied
    By your comments above, I take it you know very little about boxing. A beginner trying to spar does not look like a boxer, neither does your typical TMAist. Additionally, grappling arts should begin sparring immediately. You make a good point here about avoiding sparring in order to avoid reinforcing bad habits, but I would really not say that untrained newbie's resemble boxers.
    You're right -I don't box.

    I didn't write that newbie's spar LIKE boxers, I wrote they (try to) LOOK like them. From what I've seen if someone with no idea is asked to spar, right off the bat they'll put the arms up, drop the head, and maybe hop around abit and weave around. What happens following that does not resemble boxing, usually it looks more like groveling for mercy or cowering. However I find if you toss a pair of gloves at someone, that's immediately what they'll start to do during the pre-fight part.

    [quote]
    To me, that's like saying that an untrained newbie who drops into what looks like a side guard or a cat stance looks like a karateka-maybe to someone who doesn't know, but...
    ]/quote]

    I agree with this also. But the thing is I don't really see people who don't know what they're doing drop into cat-stance like this. Hell, I don't even see people who KNOW what they're doing drop into cat-stance like this. I find that even traditional martial guys will resemble boxers while sparring -in appearance at least. Newbies will try to do whatever they've seen before, and boxing is a fairly prevalent throughout North America.

    8t88

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wastrel
    replied
    Jamoke,
    Don't you know you only use one question mark when you're asking a simple question? When you use two, it's a super-question!!
    Anyway, I'm not quite sure I understand your response. Care about what?

    **The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wastrel
    replied
    8t88,
    By your comments above, I take it you know very little about boxing. A beginner trying to spar does not look like a boxer, neither does your typical TMAist. Additionally, grappling arts should begin sparring immediately. You make a good point here about avoiding sparring in order to avoid reinforcing bad habits, but I would really not say that untrained newbie's resemble boxers. To me, that's like saying that an untrained newbie who drops into what looks like a side guard or a cat stance looks like a karateka-maybe to someone who doesn't know, but...

    **The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

    Leave a comment:


  • 8t88
    replied

    The concept you wrote about does sound real, and it should exist to some degree in any good Dojo. However I too feel that 2 years sounds like taking it to the extreme, particularly for light sparring (then again it is a subject of definition - what is light sparring exactly). I think Blade Windo opinion here stems from the particular M.A. he is doing in which the potential damage is indeed low for the beginers. However, this isn't always true.

    Amir
    I think two years is alittle long too. I didn't -and still don't- like it, but I understand. As I've posted previously, I think sparring only helps develop a martial art insofar as it develops your application of the martial technique. I do full contact sparring now, and I find myself using techniques I learned because I've trained myself to. I know for a fact that when I was sparring back when I started (I just did it outside), I didn't apply techniques, just hit as hard and fast as I could within limit.

    I think that forms and drills look all pretty like they do because you're not really under any pressure; hence the desire for people to spar to add the "real world" to the ideal. My position on "too early" sparring comes from the fact that all fights/sparring looks to me like a boxing match, at least for the first little bit. No stances, no fancy stuff, no set-up/stare-downs/entrance music. Why this is I don't know, but it happens. The difference is that a beginner trying to spar will look like a boxer (no offence to boxers) and do whatever he can from that position. Someone with experience in an art will look like a boxer, will fight like the newbie, but will also (hopefully) toss out a few trained techniques, which are by definition more effective than what an untrained person would do in that situation. Sparring before you've got anything to spar with develops excellent fighting skills, but poor techniques.

    8t88

    Leave a comment:


  • 8t88
    replied
    2 years is far too long. He's not worried about your training, he's worried about liability, and I can't really fault him for that.

    **The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**
    Please see my previous post.

    8t88

    Leave a comment:


  • 8t88
    replied
    no, that's not what I mean - you have to spar from day one: yes as you get better you can start sparring harder (though you should start fullcontact, just going easy on your first day.)
    I think it depends on what your martial art demands. If you need highly conditioned shins or cardio endurance, such as from particular striking arts or for entering competitions, then there's really no other way than to go at it from day one. On the other hand if you're in something that's more technically than physically demanding, then sparring before you've got good fundamentals that you can apply will make you sloppy. I'll expand on this in a second.

    "light Sparring"??? you're probably not going to hurt yourself even in fullcontact if the more experienced/stronger person takes it easy (which he/she should do.) Fullcontact is a must, let alone light contact, which shouldn't even be allowed, unless the newer person really wants it to be.
    I'm more worried about the new guy tossing stuff out that he can't control and hurting his partner. If the partner is indeed a 10-year senior student and gets his ass kicked by an out-of-control junior, then the senior deserved it, and should probably return his belt to the Goodwill Store where he got it. However I find that the more common case is intermediate students working with new students. If they follow your sparring suggestion, then I'd be worried in both cases - intermediate maybe not being experienced enough to handle an out-of-control new guy, or the intermediate just getting pissed off at the out-of-control new guy and losing it himself. Please understand by "out-of-control", I don't mean foaming at the mouth. I'm refering to some guy who gets too excited and unleashes the Fight Club, gets his pride bruised alittle by getting hit a few times and unleases the Fight Club, or is just some stupid punk who doesn't realize the consequences of kicking someone in the kidney (... upon unleashing the Fight Club).

    I have to disagree totally that withdrawing sparring for that period of time sensible: I think it's far more fear then sensibility, he seems scared that, as you say, he is liable to damages.

    The places were I go allow full contact sparring, albeit more controlled for newer people, or if someone is at a big disadvantage (say weight wise.) However grappling is usually full-on, because you're slighlty less likely to be KOed (matted area) or have something broken (due to tapping.)

    <BLOCKQUOTE id=quote>quote:
    Certainly not only at higher levels! It MUST be done from day one, so that you can practise what you;ve learnt on a resisting opponent, be corrected whilst trying to get as good at those basic moves as you possibly can (as I say with fullcontact sparring, albeit going a little easy) from day one.
    <hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote>

    I wrote earlier that I'd expand on a point. I trained briefly at a club that had sparring right off the bat, for students new and experienced. The Sensei wanted his students to know how to apply the techniques that he taught. It literally looked like a hockey fight between any two people, with no recognizable techniques being used. My previous comment about too early sparring causing sloppy technique is because of this. If you're sparring, and grabbing and punching works, then you won't need to train techniques, just train grabbing and punching harder/faster. I've come to understand that the first thing that goes out the window when you get excited is technique. If you've got no technique to start with, then training in a martial art is just wasting your time. In all fairness to this school, some of the seniors had pretty good technique in sparring; but I feel that is a result of training techniques, not sparring or some combination of the two.

    What do you train in now just out of interest 8t88?
    I just focus on Wing Chun. However an interesting thing I've noticed is that Wing Chun taught by a particular Sifu, practiced by a particular student, or codified by a particular organization, is often quite different from another. No limits, just limited people.

    8t88

    Leave a comment:


  • Dibble
    replied
    AMEN! to baltasargracian and Amir. I was at a school where all the criteria applied.

    Yet I stayed because I let myself feel trapped--that there were no other options (FMAs are few and far between in my area). Boy, was I wrong.

    If you realize you're at a McDojo, GET OUT!!! It's ALL bad, and a waste of time/energy/emotion/money. If you're serious, you *will* find other and better ways to train.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jamoke
    replied
    "so don't make me out to be an asshole about this".

    i'm not, i asked you a simple question. maybe some schools don't care, why wouldn't they, I would if i owned a school.

    "If attacked fight, and fight to kill"

    Leave a comment:


  • The Wastrel
    replied
    Jamoke, a warning sign that the school might not particularly care for quality of instruction, or for the progression of their students. I would never dismiss a school just because it had a BBC. I was defending BBC's on another thread, so don't make me out to be an asshole about this.

    **The most miraculous power that can verifiably be attributed to "chi" is its ability to be all things to virtually all people, depending on what version of the superstition they are attempting to defend at any given moment.**

    Leave a comment:


  • Amir
    replied
    Another pointer:

    Look at the veteran students and think if you would like to be like them, talk with them and ask about the teacher.

    Be careful of cult mentality, a fair evaluation of the teacher would probably be positive - these people chose to stay and learn at that place, but is shouldn't be too good.

    Try to talk with relatively new students and check their opinion.

    Amir

    Leave a comment:

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